Thursday, January 29, 2009

In Case of Suffering...

Dearest Family and Friends (an open letter),

In case of suffering, please call me.

I don't want any of my family or friends to suffer silently in these hard economic times. I don't know how many of my local family and friends actually read my blog, but just in case, I want to say here and now that I offer the following:
  • Shared housing while you are trying to get back on your feet. G and I are having trouble keeping up with all our bills in this new year. It was tough before, but now I have received a salary cut and G is job hunting when jobs are scarce. Come stay with us for a bit if you need a place. Contribute what you can in rent, even if a small amount. It will help us while helping you. Or simply help us out with home repairs or pool maintenance, or car maintenance, or as of this spring, building small raised garden beds for our urban food garden.
  • Dinner. Sharing meals can help us all keep our spirits up and, done right, will ultimately be cheaper. Let's split some costs and enjoy one another's company. Your house or ours. Bring the ingrediants you can scrounge up and we'll bring what we can scrounge up at our house. Then we'll cook and eat together. The "new economy" will at best give us the vehicle to redefine the good American life. Hopefully we will all play more music together, break more bread together, and play more games together.
  • And another option for dinner. If you like vegetarian food, when we cook something, every-once-in-a-while, we can make a little extra for you to have fresh or put in your freezer. You can do the same for us when and if you are ever able, but no pressure. We can also get together to share in the task of baking and cooking from scratch, especially those items that can be frozen or stored well. The more we all have in our freezers, the less convienence food we will all buy and the less we will eat out. Also, a full freezer is cheaper to run than an empty one and a full oven is cheaper when on than one that only has one or two things in it.
  • Shared heating. If you are worried about your energy and heating bill this winter, let's talk. By turning down the heat (as low as it will go without bursting the pipes) and by keeping the lights out for just a couple of days (or even for a night), you can save money. Come over for a night or two, then catch us on the flipside.
  • Bulk memberships. If you need to stock up, let me know so we can schedule to shopping together. We have been given a wonderful gift of a membership to both BJs and Costco. I can tell you when we are headed out there next, and you would be most welcome to join me and share in our membership. I'd also be happy to split items when the cost of buying is cheaper in bulk but neither of us needs quite that much of something (pickles or whatever).
  • Gardening, with prep starting in early spring. G and I are entertaining ideas about how to eat locally and in season (redefining our entire diet) and grow more of our own food. Neither of us have a green thumb, nor do we have much space for gardening in our yard. However, if we can get together with folks who have more of a green thumb/more knowledge, as well as someone who has some space, we can offer some of the labor. There are no "community gardens" accessible to the public in our city currently as far as we can tell.
  • Clothes and toys for your kids. If you have a child under three, we might be able to help. We are not done having children so would like to keep our items, but if you are willing to keep track of anything with our name on it, we are happy to loan out clothes for little ones who have outgrown their wardrobes as well as toys for little ones who have reached a new developmental phase and need some new toys.
  • Women's clothing exchanges. Sizes change, tastes change. If you are needing or craving something new to wear and are around my size or a bit smaller, call me. I'd be happy for you to rummage through my pile of clothes I've sadly outgrown, etc. Maybe I'll have a thing or two of interest to you. (And if you have anything you think might interest me, let me know that too.)
  • Make cleaners in bulk with us. If we buy the supplies together in bulk, we can make cheap and healthier (than store bought...also more ecologically sound) household cleaners including laundry deteregent. By doing it together, we'll also have more fun. We'd have to learn how, but I'd also entertain making soaps and shampoos and other personal care goods together.
  • If it feels like your home is falling apart around you, but you can't afford the work and don't have the man-power to do it yourself, let's talk. We can come help you at your house for some number of hours if you come help us at ours. By sharing the work, we make it more likely that we can "do it ourselves" which will save money.
  • I'm open to other ideas to about how we can help each other out.
For those of you who are not local, I still am here offering to be a good listener and to hold you in loving prayers.

Please don't be prideful. Now is not the time. If you need help, reach out. We're all in this together.


1 comment:

sf said...

These are all such good ideas - I hope you find some people who want to participate!